PGA of America History - 1950-1959

  • 1950:
    • The May report recommends that The PGA and the Tournament Bureau separate.
    • Education Committee, headed by Eddie Duino, and the National Golf Foundation publish book on pro-department operations.
    • Teaching Committee, headed by Harold Sargent, issues "A Teacher's Guide."
    • The PGA and the Junior Chamber of Commerce stage Jaycee Junior Championship with approximately 10,000 entries.
  • 1951:
    • Horton Smith elected to his first term as president at 35th annual meeting.
    • The Stymie is abolished by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Fife Scotland and the United States Golf Association (USGA).
  • 1952:
    • The PGA of America in conjunction with LIFE Magazine sponsors the first National Golf day and raises $80,000 for charity.
  • 1953:
    • PGA Championship eludes Ben Hogan as he wins three-quarters of the "Grand Slam" in one year with victories at the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open.
  • 1954:
    • The inaugural PGA Merchandise Show takes place when salesmen gather in PGA National Golf Club parking lot in Dunedin, Fla. to exhibit their product lines during PGA Seniors Championship.
  • 1955:
    • PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award is established to honor PGA members for total contributions to the game. Bill Gordon of Tam O'Shanter Country Club in Chicago, Ill., is the first recipient.
  • 1956:
    • PGA National Office moves from Chicago to Dunedin, Fla.
    • Membership in The PGA of America reaches 3,798.
    • Total number of geographical PGA Sections increases to 31.
  • 1957:
    • Lionel Hebert defeats Dow Finsterwald 2 & 1 in the last match-play PGA Championship at Miami Valley Golf Club in Dayton, Ohio.
  • 1958:
    • The PGA Championship changes to a stroke-play format and Dow Finsterwald, 1957's runner-up, shoots a 4-under-par 276 for the victory.
    • Arnold Palmer plays in his first PGA Championship, wins his first Masters and finishes the year as the leading money-winner.
    • CBS-TV purchases broadcasting rights for the PGA Championship for 1958 through 1962.
    • The number of PGA Sections increases to 33 with the addition of the Colorado and Southwest Sections.
    • The 40th PGA Championship at Llanerch Country Club in Havertown, Pa., is the first PGA Championship to be broadcast on live television and radio.
  • 1959:
    • The Georgia-Alabama Section officially withdraws from the Southeastern Section to become the 34th PGA Section.
    • The PGA rents 60 x 180 foot tent for the PGA Merchandise Show during the PGA Seniors Championship at Dunedin, Fla.